Bahooka (est. 1967) is the world-famous tiki restaurant that has been celebrated in many books, on many websites and "best of" lists, and in the hearts of tiki-philes everywhere. It truly is a mecca for enthusiasts of Polynesian pop and although it may seem so well-known that it wouldn't need to be featured here, we just couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't shine one more light on this wicky-wacky tacky landmark.
On our most recent visit, we were joined by our newlywed pals, Jesse and Emily (be sure to visit her film blog, thesilverscreenaffair.blogspot.com).
|Mary, Mr. Tiny, Emily & Jesse|
Bahooka is a tiki restaurant, so it straddles the line for us between a Tiki Time and Chow Time post.
It wasn't difficult to choose the heading under which Bahooka would fall; let's just say that they are not as well known for their food (not the best we've ever tasted) as they are for their huge assortment of (very strong, so we're told) tropical, tiki cocktails.
|Scarlet Sails in the sunset.|
|We definitely brought down the cool factor at our table |
by several points by just drinking water. At least it came
in bamboo-shaped glasses!
Our real motivation in visiting Bahooka is the atmosphere - a combination south seas shipwreck, tiki bar, and marine aquarium. I love that there isn't a blank space in Bahooka; everywhere one looks, there is an overabundance of visual stimulation.
|Our dining table, a true feat of nautical craftsmanship - |
anchored to the wall and suspended from the
ceiling by marine-grade chains.
|As ever, my love for amazing light fixtures never wanes.|
My favorite was this meteor lamp in a fish net.
|The Big Kahuna|
|The best! |
A tiki head illuminated inside a vintage,
flower-bedecked gas pump
The most amazing thing about Bahooka is the amount of upkeep required to maintain the hundreds of fish tanks that fill the restaurant and surround each table. The most famous fish in the aquarium that is Bahooka, is Ruffus.
|Emily thought it was going to be like those old-timey lobster tanks |
where you could choose your dinner. She was inconsolable when
she realized she couldn't have Ruffus as her main course.
|My favorite fish was this guys - dig those crazy fish lips!|
To some it might seem ridiculous for the last remaining member of the Temperance Movement (not really) to drive forty minutes for a mediocre meal at a place famous for alcoholic drinks, but it is always a huge treat to visit Bahooka. Such is the life of wacky tacky, searching out the delightful places that aren't so much frozen in time as they are a sweet respite from the worries and hurries of time.
4501 N Rosemead Blvd
Cheers & Aloha!